I, like so many others, find myself fascinated by the Farm Security Administration color photos from the 1930s and 40s. Before discovering the collection I’d never seen photos from that era that exhibited such vivid colors. I couldn’t help but wonder exactly how the photos came to be and who the photographers were behind the images.
The Farm Security Administration (FSA) was a New Deal program designed to assist poor farmers during the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression. The photographs of the FSA Photograph Collection form an extensive pictorial record of American life between 1935 and 1944. Among the photographers assigned to the project were four women: Dorothea Lange, Marion Post Wolcott, Esther Bubley and Marjory Collins.
Dorothea Lange: She is probably the most well known of the group, and is responsible for one of the most well known images of the Great Depression, “Migrant Mother”.
Marion Post Wolcott: She began studying photography during her time in Vienna where she witnessed first hand the rise of the Nazi party.
Esther Bubley: In 1954 she became the first woman to win first place in the international division of a contest sponsored by Photography magazine. She received a trophy depicting a male photographer.
Marjory Collins: She was involved with the Civil Rights movement in the US and founded an independent feminist publication.